The Challenges of Building in Shasta County: Interview with a Developer

Building more homes in Shasta County at lower prices is key to reducing our cost of living, preventing increases in homelessness, and producing more families. The goal of building is *not* to supply future growth, but to provide housing to those of us who live here now at a better price.

But California can be a tough place to build.

Last week, I had the privilege of joining a local developer on a beautiful property near Shingletown to hear about his experience trying to build new homes in Shasta County. He shared 3 challenges to building:

  1. Building costs often exceed selling prices
  2. Wildfire mitigation can be time-consuming and expensive
  3. Regulations and fees slow building and increase costs

Watch our conversation here:

Because building in California is already so challenging, local governments need to do whatever they can to remove barriers to building. To their credit, I believe the Board recently discussed this case with hopes of making an exception on the road maintenance fees.

One way to help builders is to speed up the process of building. Based on one year of data from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, it takes longer to build in Shasta County than elsewhere in the state.

This could be the result of a strange year or strange project, but it’s worth exploring further. As Greg shared in our conversation, every little improvement counts for developers who are already up against significant odds.

How do you think we can make it easier to build housing in Shasta County?

 

Note: After sharing this data, I spoke with the Shasta County Resource Management Department. We dug into the specific data behind these numbers and could tell that the numbers, at least in some instances, don't reflect what is really happening on the ground. For me, that is a healthy part of the process. We need to look at the data we have. If it looks off, then we should try to understand why. Sometimes the data is inaccurate or misrepresented. Sometimes we have work to do. And sometimes it's a bit of both.